Associated Students Beat Reporter
Associated Students Senate voted on Wednesday, Feb. 13, to pass a resolution entitled “A Resolution Condemning Social Network Pages That Misrepresent the University.”
The resolution, written by On-Campus Senator Navkiran Kaur, focuses on two specific Facebook pages, “UCSB Hook-Ups” and “UCSB Confessions,” both of which include many derogatory comments and use the university’s name.
“[The pages] affect the campus climate even though it’s not directly on campus,” said Kaur. “They affect students. There have been racist comments, there have been hateful comments, and there are just so many “isms” on both pages that I’ve heard numerous complaints. They are hurtful; they have been affecting students negatively, and with UCSB to be attached to it, it affects the climate of this campus—it affects our constituents directly.”
The pages, which have exploded in popularity since the start of winter quarter, have over 5000 subscribers each and can be accessed by anyone on Facebook.
“If you’re a first year or a senior in high school and this is what you find when you Google search UCSB, I know I for one would be much more hesitant to enroll here and I think that this is a publicity problem for our university, and environment problem for our student body,” said Alex Moore.
While there are some concerns over preventing free speech, the senators generally believed that it is more important to prevent a culture of derogatory comments from spreading.
“Literally I’ve read incidents of rape on this page,” said Moore. “First of all, you have the fact that the survivor would have to relive that incident by some process. Second, you have the fact that this is encouraging someone who is enacting sexual violence and gender violence and that is also is giving them publicity and validating that culture.”
By passing this resolution, Senate believes it will help to create a safer environment, both within UCSB and the greater community.
“I think that this goes beyond UCSB,” said University Owned Housing Senator Miya Sommers. “It helps to make this a better place that is more inclusive to a broad spectrum of people that have really been marginalized in the dialogue in our past history. Although it’s one page, it’s one stance in a long fight in changing a culture and making a real difference.”
Some of the senators believe that in addition to being harmful, these sites also incorrectly portray UCSB culture.
“The entire culture of ‘Hook-Ups’ is that it portrays the worst part of UCSB and it doesn’t even portray what the majority of the student body stands for,” said Moore.
By passing the resolution, “Senate directs Associated Students staff and UCSB administration to report the aforementioned pages through Facebook and ask that they be taken down immediately on the grounds that they perpetuate hate speech, racism, sexism, and create a negative image of this campus.”
The moderators of the two pages have been contacted, although it does not seem as though they are willing to work with Associated Students. Senators agreed that although changing the name to not include “UCSB” would be a good step, ultimately the best thing would to have them be taken down altogether.
“I think while this may be a fad and this may stop, as many other pages before have and many other phenomena have in social media, I think that it’s still important to stand against what’s wrong,” said Moore.
Photo courtesy of UCSB Hook-Ups